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Gloucester Point in Gloucester County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Gloucester Point

Ancient Defender of the York

 

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

 
Gloucester Point CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
1. Gloucester Point CWT Marker
Inscription.  The earthworks before you are the remains of the star-shaped “covering work” that helped to defend the York River against Union attack from 1861 to 1862. Tyndall’s (Gloucester) Point was first fortified in 1667 and was officially named Fort James when it was rebuilt with brick in 1671. The narrowing of the river between Yorktown and Gloucester Point provided a good defensive position to effect control of the upper reaches of the York River and the inland countryside. These fortifications were the eastern terminus of Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder’s, CSA, 2nd Peninsula Defensive Line.

In June 1861, the Confederate Army fortified Gloucester Point by constructing a star-shaped fort and water battery overlooking the York River. The main battery was at the extremity of the point, its terreplain only two feet above high tide. It was a fully enclosed earthwork, 100 yards long and 75 yards wide. Its parapet was 7½ feet high on the inside and 20 feet thick, with embrasures for 12 guns. While the battery was under construction Gloucester Point came under fire from Union gunboats. The attack was repulsed and the battery completed
Gloucester Point CWT Marker in Tyndall's Point Park. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
2. Gloucester Point CWT Marker in Tyndall's Point Park.
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under the instruction of Gen. Robert E. Lee, CSA. Its armament consisted of eight 9-inch Dahlgrens and four 32-pounders. The water battery was protected from land attack by the star-shaped fort constructed on the bluff above it.

Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s concept to capture Richmond by way of the Virginia Peninsula was based on his ability to utilize the James and York rivers as avenues of approach to the Confederate capital. The emergence of the powerful ironclad ram, the CSS Virginia (Merrimack), blocked the James River to McClellan’s use and forced him to concentrate his army on the York River. When McClellan’s advance was blocked by Magruder’s 2nd Defensive Line, the U.S. Navy refused to make any attempt to run past the batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester Point. The entire 2nd Defensive Line was abandoned by the Confederates on the evening of May 3-4, 1862. Only then was the U.S. Navy able to transport McClellan’s troops and equipment up the York River to White House Landing on the Pamunkey River and continue operations against Richmond.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1861.
 
Location.
Gloucester Point Civil War Trails Marker in Tyndall's Point Park. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, October 17, 2021
3. Gloucester Point Civil War Trails Marker in Tyndall's Point Park.
37° 14.962′ N, 76° 30.13′ W. Marker is in Gloucester Point, Virginia, in Gloucester County. Marker can be reached from Vernon Street near Riverview Street. The marker is in Tyndall's Point Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1376 Vernon Street, Gloucester Point VA 23062, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Still Defending Virginia’s Shores (here, next to this marker); Classic Camp Life (within shouting distance of this marker); Attacking with “Decisive Vigor” (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Where North Meets South (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Gloucester Point (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Gloucester Point (about 400 feet away); Welcome to Gloucester Point (about 400 feet away); Early Land Patent (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gloucester Point.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a watercolor of “Union Gunboats shelling Yorktown and Gloucester Point, watercolor by Lt. Robert K. Sneden.” – Copyright Virginia Historical Society, 1997.
On the lower right is a photo of “A 9-inch Dahlgren in the Confederate Water Battery at Glocester Point.” Courtesy of U.S. Army military History Institute.
 
Remains of the star-fort at Gloucester Point. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
4. Remains of the star-fort at Gloucester Point.
Gloucester Point Fort. image. Click for full size.
circa 1861
5. Gloucester Point Fort.
Library of Congress Geography and Map Division [G3884.G53S5 1861 .G5 Vault : Hotch 87]
Gloucester, Virginia. Water battery. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By George N. Barnard, May 1862
6. Gloucester, Virginia. Water battery.
Library of Congress [LC-B815- 460]
Confederate fortifications at Gloucester Point, Va., opposite Yorktown, Va. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By George N. Barnard, June 1862
7. Confederate fortifications at Gloucester Point, Va., opposite Yorktown, Va.
Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-76208]
Gloucester Point Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, October 17, 2021
8. Gloucester Point Marker
Marker appears to have been replaced and in better condition.
Tyndall's Point Park. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
9. Tyndall's Point Park.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 5, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,439 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 5, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   3. submitted on November 4, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia.   4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 5, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   8. submitted on November 4, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia.   9. submitted on May 5, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Aug. 19, 2022